The last post was a tough one. There is a fine line between balancing mom’s dignity, and keeping it real. I struggled with not wanting to burden you all with some of the more nightmarish aspects of the journey, or to sugar coat anything. One of my gifted readers became my teacher this week, when she picked up on the struggle and offered a private response that kind of threw me for a minute, then created a huge gift of an insight in the process of looking at her suggestion to, (and I am paraphrasing) lose my inhibition and strip my humanity down to raw emotion.
In considering her observation, that ‘this is not a novel I imagined but my real life’, I was called again to consider what is most true for me. So, please bare with me as I indulge a current obsession with discovering the individual elements that construct the flavor profiles of things both delicious and not. Or in the language of that once great oracle, Common Core, ‘Digging for Strengths’.
A couple of nights ago, an hour or so after a great dinner I was craving something sweet. I wasn’t hungry, thirsty, tired, if anything I was at peace. I had managed to; contribute 5k to my team for the C2 virtual challenge, enjoy a great Pilates class, the fire was neither too hot or cold, the kitchen was clean and mom, who had been bleeding most of the day, seemed relatively comfortable. I took a moment to breathe. I checked in to see if there was an exact fix, like one spoonful of mom’s ice cream, one caramel, or the mango I was saving for after rowing the next day. Realizing that it had nothing to do with a concrete desire got my attention. Well HELLO, Sherlock to Holmes … there it was – the voice was like wwww-ell I am missing my ‘sweetie’ a bit … (OK, tell me you have never caught yourself being that obvious).
Thats when thoughts began to flow, as quickly as simple syrup. Where does sweetness reside? How do I access sweet? When do I most notice it’s presence? It used to be in the cuddles, kisses, and joy from my, and I have always called her this but never noticed it before – sweet Molly girl. Yet, that delicious flavor has been replaced by one that is far complex, more like searching for a morsel of chocolate in a scantily clad cookie. Yet, in truth, the essence of her spirit is still present beneath her disguise of molting fur, weepy eyes, and signs of dementia.
After lengthy consideration here is a partial list, and I hope you will all help me remember to look for sweet in less obvious things. For example, have you ever noticed the sweetness in steamed green cabbage with a tiny pat of butter???? Ok, a little too…but seriously see if you can find it.
I find sweetness in my mom napping comfortably in her chair covered in the ever-present blanket that was a gift from Shawna, Molly watching me eat, the glow of the fire on the livingroom floor, the smoothness of pilates clothes, a perfect erg stroke, a cuddle with my buddies Tyler or Thunder, the mischief in Owen’s sparkly eyes, hiking amidst the trees with Hailey and Erin, lying against the chest of the home I love, a phone call from work spoken in a hushed conspiratorial tone, spending time in the car with Patrick and Tim, a recipe that works, talking with brilliant potential filled up and coming visionaries like Kyrie’, mom enjoying a meal, (a bunch of stuff I can’t list without this post requiring parental advisories), and most of all when I come in from the cold, grumpy or sore, only to find that, the warmth I left behind is still here. Really, the list is pretty much endless when I take the time to notice.
So please, whatever you do dear readers, do not think this is ‘just a sad story with big words’, (even though by times it contains a sadness I find difficult to tolerate), but rather a calling to accept the heroe’s journey that is before us all. Or if you must, take the time to explore beneath the top-note taste of your own sadness for whatever drop of sweetness you may find. My hope for each one of us, is that we all find the authentic miraculous flavors of our hearts highest calling, that is our birthright and joy.
*Shout outs to CF of Purpose 7, without whom this post would not be possible. Thanks for causing me to reach deeper, and come up a little higher.